Sharjah Ruler Approves Largest Budget, Hikes Spending By 12%

The 2015 budget will also provide job opportunities to 1,000 Emiratis, a finance department official said.



Sharjah’s ruler Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed al-Qassimi has approved the emirate’s largest ever budget for 2015 at Dhs17.7 billion, state news agency WAM reported.

This is a 12 per cent rise over the Dhs15.4 billion that was approved in 2014.

Almost 45 per cent of spending in the budget will be allocated to the economic development sector, compared to 22 per cent from last year, according to Waleed Al Sayegh, director general at Sharjah Central Finance Department.

Meanwhile, 34 per cent of government spending this year will be channelled to develop Sharjah’s infrastructure sector and eight per cent will be spent on the governance sector.

The UAE’s third largest emirate has also increased spending in its cultural sector by 17 per cent and will create 1,000 jobs for Emiratis, despite increasing operational expenses due to a 28 per cent rise in salary and wage allocation.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi, chairman of Sharjah Central Finance Department, said that the increased spending was aimed at stimulating economic growth in Sharjah.

He added that it would enhance the emirate’s financial stability in line with international financial standards regarding inflation and, sectorial spending and other macroeconomic indices.

Sharjah’s budget accounts for around five per cent of total government spending in the UAE, where Abu Dhabi is the source of around 74 per cent of overall state expenditure.

However, the emirate has been looking to tap into the UAE’s total economic growth over the last few years as it looks to woo more foreign direct investment.

Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), its official FDI agency, has been actively sending out delegations across the world to promote the emirate.